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Kathmandu Post: Forest conservationist in Nepal undeterred by brutal attack
As seen on Kathmandu Post
By Mohan Budhair
DHANGADI, APR 23 - Her adversary cut off her hands just because she was the only person brave and capable of putting an end to malfeasance in community forest world. Nanda Devi Kunwar remains undaunted and ever driven to conserve the community forest she represents.
She became the chairperson of Madhuban Community Forest of Malakheti VDC-6 at a time when no one was willing to take the job due to the fear of Hari Bhat.
Bhat, who has had involvement in many crimes in the past, was the chieftain of the group that had been grabbing the land owned by the community forest by means of terror and threat. It was him who prompted the former chairperson of the community forest to resign. When Kunwar assumed the role of a new chairperson, she became a formidable foe of Bhat's, as she would not relent to his threats. After Bhat did not heed to her request to stop encroaching forest land and cutting down the trees, she had filed a complaint against him at the local forest office. Bhat and two of his cronies were arrested in the wake. Kunwar later requested the forest office to pardon the trio after Bhat's family pleaded for their release.
Less than 24 hours after their release, Bhat on Saturday attacked Kunwar, wherein she lost both her hands. "I am not at all discouraged by the incident. I will make sure that Bhat is arrested and stop his reign of terror," vowed the headstrong conservationist from the hospital bed.
Community forest members said ever since Kunwar became the chairperson she had done many commendable jobs that her predecessors could not out of Bhat's fear.
After Saturday's attack on Kunwar, Bhat is on the run and the police are after him. The police have taken Bhat's wife and his brother in custody.
Posted on: 2012-04-24 08:39
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